What Exactly Are Roof Shingles & Why Do They Matter?

ridge ventRoofing shingles are curved or flat tiles made from varying materials that overlap and interlock in a fashion that channels water off of a pitched roof. They are made of materials that are determined by cost, weight, durability, color, and architectural styles.

Shingles are used exclusively for roofs with sloping sides that are steep enough to allow water to flow into a gutter system using gravity alone. For flat or shallow roofs, materials such as metal flashing or sheets of PVC are more appropriate than shingles.

When considering roofing your home with shingles, you should consider your budget, climate, the roofs pitch, and how you want the end result to look in regards to your homes design.

There are many materials that are well suited to serve as weatherproof and durable shingles that are also pleasing to the eye:

  • Slate, for one, comes in a variety of colors from green to blue to gray or even tan, and can last as long as a century. However, they are extravagantly priced and require an extra strong roof since their weight is considerable.
  • Ceramic or clay tiles are another that come in an elongated S-shape to top Spanish-style adobe houses but like slate, they are also priced quite high are are heavy.
  • Lighter alternatives such as asphalt shingles, can mimic both the color and fire-retardant rating of the choices.

Your basic standard asphalt shingles, also known as composite or fiberglass, are made by infusing paper or fiberglass base with asphalt. Then one side is sprayed with granules of whatever material is desired to achieve a chosen color. A dependable choice, these are the most affordable option and can last 15 – 20 years.

Of course there are other, more expensive options such as shake or copper squares one can take into consideration. Even metal tiles made out of steel or aluminum, these make a strong design statement as they shine in the sunlight.

Choosing the right shingle can add decades to your roof and protect your home for years to come! Talk to your local roof contractor for more information on shingle types available for your roof!


In Metro Atlanta, call Atlanta Roofing Specialists today at 770-419-2222 to help you choose the best shingle for your roof!

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